And yes, it is partly about the money. Writing books is how I make my living. It is my sole income. I'm a single parent with mouths to feed. The US economy is hurting and there aren't many well-paying full time jobs in my area. Not to mention, I've been out of work for over a year and I haven't even received my first royalty check. So, yeah, every book sold helps my family. Helps me to continue writing more books.
Sure, I'm flattered that people want to read my published novels, but by supporting all my hard work (all the blood, sweat, and tears that went into writing my novel) BY purchasing a copy of their own, I can continue to write more books. And get to do what I love for a living. Telling stories.
And this has happened to me before. The other time, someone was SELLING an actual copy of a novella I wrote on their retail website. Yeah, I was pissed. The book was removed after I contacted the website owner, but I lost all of those sales. I didn't bother with a lawsuit. I should have. I don't like the fact that this is happening to me AGAIN.
Like I said, I am struggling like many folks in this economy, and I realize some people can't afford the $1.99 to $7.99 to purchase an eBook to read. I get it. I understand. I can't even afford my own reading habit right now. Which sucks. I'll be lucky if I can even come up with the rent this month. But I'm not about to steal books just so I can have some reading material handy.
It makes me wonder why these people don't just ask their local libraries to purchase a copy to lend to readers. My librarian is kind enough to orders books for me whenever I've been unable to purchase my own copy. And there are a TON of used books on Amazon that sell for $0.1. Yes, that's right--1 cent! (The difference is that these books have not been illegally scanned, copied, and uploaded to share sites for free. To thousands of people.)
The difference is in making copies. The reader does not own the right to either reproduce or distribute copies of an e-book. With any book, e-book or print, the author initially owns those rights.
Did I mention it’s just plain wrong to steal?
Still not convinced?
The FBI refers to e-piracy as this: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted work.* So if you’re not the copyright owner of a product (like a book, song, etc., but this post focuses on books), yet you downloaded that product for free on a torrent or other unauthorized “share” site, you’ve engaged in an illegal, unauthorized reproduction of a copyrighted work.
Nope. Most books are registered with the United States Library of Congress or have a Creative Commons license, but if you didn’t create the work yourself, then you’re not the copyright owner and you cannot upload or download it. eBooks are an electronic medium, which means that they are also covered by the electronic media laws and the Millennium Act (if they are DRM-protected).
Want to learn more about e-piracy and the law? Please visit these links: